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Vote to elect Council leader fails

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jacob williamsA NOTICE of Motion from Cllr Jacob Williams to elect the Council leader annually was narrowly defeated by one vote of 29 votes to 28 at Thursday’s meeting. Cllr Williams said: “At the moment we elect the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Planning and Licensing heads and this motion seeks to add the leader to that list. The leader is elected at the AGM and he/ she remains in post till he/ she resigns or is no longer a councillor. Any incumbent, if they were unsuccessful in seeking re-election, would only be because a majority failed to have confidence in him or her. Introducing an annual election will address the weakness and accountability of this council. “Some believe it is best to have someone who has been there for a long time and someone that has confidence of councillors. There is a difference – continuity should be earned by an annual election at the AGM. This isn’t extraordinary – we could also add the leader and cabinet members but this is just to elect the leader.”

Council leader Jamie Adams responded: “I am not convinced of the notice of motion. It will always be the largest group that provides the leader of the council, and the best opportunity for influencing the leader of this council would be to join the Independent group. “The role of leader is something that one person cannot commit to for a short period of time. We complete the budget process in March, and would vote for a leader in May, and that is dangerous. “The leader does have to make unpopular, pragmatic decisions, and that requires a longer term.

I remain convinced that the role of leader does require that commitment. My group has the option to remove me if they wish and that provides the democratic accountability. Cllr Bob Kilmister said: “This notice of motion makes it less likely that we will have votes of no confidence. An annual vote will only take place if someone stands against them. This will only take place if there is a chance of a meaningful vote. “At the moment we don’t have the opportunity, we had it when we first formed and from thereon in we are stuck.

I do not think this is democracy and it is not the right way of doing something about it. “If our leader wins the election he will be able to see he has the backing of the council, without that confidence the leader is frightened of being challenged by people in this council”. Cllr Tessa Hodgson said: “I am quite surprised that the leader doesn’t welcome this motion. It suggests that he is not confident that he has the backing of other councillors”.

Cllr Reg Owens said: “When we passed the earlier item 6 on this agenda this was one more step to more openness for Pembrokeshire County Council. Also the exit of the chief executive is going to ensure more openness and this motion will extend that even more. “If the leader is against this then he lacks confidence. If we are brave enough to pass this today, it will only be good for Pembrokeshire”. Cllr Sue Perkins said: “This is the most ridiculous notice of motion I have ever read. Continuity is the most important thing.

There are a huge amount of things to learn, it’s not going to take 2-3 months. Cllr Tom Tudor said: “I can’t see what the problem is here. We should embrace this notice of motion to show the people of Pembrokeshire that Pembrokeshire County Council is trying to get away from the past and be more transparent. I would strongly urge members to vote in favour of this motion and instil some confidence back in the people. Cllr David Lloyd said: “I would invite the leader to take on this challenge and have the courage to do so.

He has nothing to lose. I would ask him to take this challenge and win our support. Cllr Paul Miller added an amendment to the original notice of motion to add the election of Cabinet members as well as the Leader but that was defeated by 37 votes to 20. Cllr Williams summed up saying: “There was talk of continuity. We are talking about Pembrokeshire County Council here. Let us take time to recall that we had 18 years of continuity under the Chief Executive and look where that has led us”. Cllr Williams motion was defeated by 29 votes to 28 with Cllr Steve Yelland casting the deciding vote.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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